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Image: Stephen Otton

Young and old march for climate change action

Geoff Helisma|

On Friday afternoon, November 29, around 150 people gathered at the Yamba skate park before setting off down Coldstream Street, Yamba Street and on to Turners Beach, to demand “climate action now”.

The march began following Yaegl Elder Fox Laurie’ welcome to country.

There were parents pushing their children in prams, teenagers, people in their later years and of all ages in between chanting – “What do we want? Climate action. When do we want it? Now!” – on their short march to the beach, chosen to symbolise the challenges of rising sea levels.

Yamba businessman Bob Kershaw, who was one of the march’s coordinators, said he is motivated to action by his desire to “provide a sustainable future for his three sons”, aged 17, 22, 23.

Mr Kershaw said there was some “nervousness” about who and how many people would turn up.

“Being a first for Yamba, it was satisfying to walk down the street with 150 people,” he said.

“You realise you are not alone with your thoughts and feelings about the climate crisis.”

It was reassuring, he said, that “everybody I bumped into [on the weekend] was really happy to have marched”.

“The deeper one for me; you do the march knowing that a fair percentage of the town is on side with the science,” he said.

“It was such an uplifting feeling with the people on the beach.”

Meanwhile, earlier that day protesters made their presence known at Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis’s and Page MP Kevin Hogan’s offices.

Greens councillor, Greg Clancy, who attended, said between 40 and 50 people were on hand.

“I think that any chance to raise the climate change emergency with politicians can’t be ignored,” he said.

“Anytime that people protest at their local members’ [offices] it is worthwhile.”

Mr Gulaptis and Mr Hogan were not available for comment when the Independent called.

Some climate change deniers do have a sense of humour. These two signs (before they were removed by a protester) were attached to trees along the marchers’ route. Image: Geoff Helisma
Image: Geoff Helisma